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Posts Tagged ‘The Box Bar’

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this before, probably in the context of watching college football games.  I have slightly different feelings about my favorite places to watch a game in the city, so I figured I’d tackle this topic again.

Admittedly, I’ve not watched a sporting event in every single bar in town.  They all have TV’s so pretty much any bar is a “sports bar” of sorts.  But, I’ve been checking out new (to me) places during this playoff run the Wings are in (which, sadly, is probably going to be cut short.)

Right in the city, my thoughts about some of the more well-known bars are:

The Box Bar — The Box is a great bar as far as drink variety and menu are concerned.  There are two huge projection TV’s and some smaller TV’s around the bar.  But, I think it’s actually kind of hard to watch a 3 hour game there considering the way the TV’s and seating are laid out.  Projection TV’s also have lousy pictures.  The Box is also just a smidge pricey.  On a 1 to 5 star scale, I give sports viewing at the Box 2.5 stars.

Doyle’s Tavern — Doyle’s is intimate and there is plenty of good seating in front of or around the few screens they have.  It also has the covered patio with a TV if you want to sit “outside” to catch the game.  Doyle’s isn’t necessarily the most comfortable place to park for hours, but the drink prices are really good.  I think Doyle’s is the best value in the city in terms of drinks and isn’t that what you want if you’re going to watch a game at a bar?  4 stars.

Hermann’s Olde Town Grille — Hermann’s has good food and plenty of seating around TV’s.  It’s a cool place as well.  I would like it better if the drinks were better priced.  Admittedly, I’m a bit of snob as far as alcohol goes, so specials on cheap domestic beer don’t get factored into to my feelings about a pub.  I don’t drink Bud Light so it matters not to me if a place runs specials on it.  Having said that, I was a tad disappointed that I paid for a double glass of whiskey only to see that it wasn’t, to my eyes, a double pour.  If it was a double pour, the single pour is awfully small.  The price would’ve been great had there actually been 2x the amount of booze in the glass.  Doyle’s has Hermann’s beat for pours.  For that reason, I rate Hermann’s 3.5 stars.

1999 Tavern — Unless you catch the game out in the “garage,” on a nice summer or fall day, the tavern’s really not the best place to catch a game.  It’s a nice pub and restaurant.  I love their chicken.  But to watch a game at a place, I want to like more than the food.  2.5 stars.

Ironwood Grill — In my humble opinion, the Ironwood doesn’t know what it wants to be.  The decor suggests that the place is a slightly upscale bar.  But there are TV’s all over the place and it’s a noisy place to eat.  To watch a game there is fine, but there’s something about it that doesn’t draw me in for that reason.  It just seems like an odd fit.  2.0 stars.

Sean O’Callaghan’s  — Sean’s is the best place to be for a sport popular across the water, like soccer or rugby.  I’ve seen some Wings games there and I didn’t necessarily like the vibe.  It was the place to be, though, for last year’s World Cup matches.  I was lucky enough to get in there to see USA-England, which was quite a match.  For that experience, alone, I give Sean’s 3.5 stars.

Just because a place has a bunch of TV’s does not mean I want to try to watch a game at it, especially not start-to-finish.  It seems like all restaurants these days have TV’s all over the place.  That’s something, actually, that I find disappointing.  Sometimes it’s nice to eat in a quiet setting where there is little outside stimulation.  I guess we no longer just eat these days.  We have to be entertained constantly.

When you want to catch a game, though, all those TV’s can come in quite handy.  If you like getting out for a game and a drink or two, and you want to keep your money in town, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the place I mentioned.  Some are just better than others.

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Here’s a nice article about a local church’s (mine) monthly “Theology on Tap” events which are held at the Box Bar.

The next meeting is  Tuesday, October 12, at 7:00 pm

http://plymouth-mi.patch.com/articles/beer-the-bible-and-the-box-bar

Essentially, this is what Theology on Tap is all about

Since February, on the second Tuesday evening of every month, TOT participants have gathered in the back room of the Box Bar for food, drink and discussion. Rather than an across-the-table conversation friends might have, Trinity TOT uses something akin to a debate format. The topic of the evening — which invariably can be discussed from three to six or more points of view, theories or perspectives — is put forth by presenters who advance a given position on the topic. After each position is presented or advanced, as overseen by the moderator, the topic is open for question and answer or even debate amongst those in attendance.

This is no mere Bible study or Sunday School session. Rather than dissecting a few Bible passages or simply retelling Bible stories, TOT hits broader philosophical and theological topics. “The purpose of Theology on Tap,” MacKinnon says, “is to address what we as a growing need to discuss more ‘meaty’ topics.”  “We want to go beyond feel-good, self-help, relational types of books and things that seem to predominate Christian media today.”

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If you’re coming from out of town or live in town but hadn’t planned out your visit to the ice sculpture show, may I recommend a few places for food and drinks?

If you’re going to be around in the morning and want breakfast, head over to Crawford’s Kitchen on Starkweather.   It’s not downtown so, on a cold day, you may not want to walk from there to the ice sculptures.  But it’s very close drive (too close to drive in nice weather) from downtown.  The food is fresh and prices are reasonable.  Crawford’s is on Starkweather, just north of Main Street, about a 1/4 mile east of the downtown area.  You’ll find it in Old Village.

For lunch (if you’re not counting calories), I cannot recommend highly enough The Burger Spot, which is downtown and only about block from Kellogg Park.  TBS has fantastic burgers and hot dogs and scrumptious (haven’t used that word in years) french fries. You will pay about a dollar to two dollars more per burger there than at a fast food joint, but the burgers are excellent with many varieties from which to choose.  If you’re feeding a family, just share a basket or two of fries.  They go along way. Here’s TBS’s website. http://www.burgerspot.net/

If you just want a nice cup of coffee or some hot chocolate to warm you up, head over to the Coffee Bean on Penniman, near Harvey.  It is only a block away from Ice Spectacular.  The Bean has been voted Detroit’s Best Coffee Shop and I couldn’t agree more.  The Bean will probably be busy.  But it’s worth the wait.  There are some chain coffee/bakery places downtown, but the coffee, in my opinion, is better at the Bean.  Besides, the local business would appreciate your support.  Here’s the Bean’s webpage. http://www.plymouthcoffeebean.com/

If you’re around for dinner, there are plenty of places to eat.  If you want a more upscale type of bar food, check out either O’Callaghan’s on Penniman or 1999 Tavern on Forest.   O’Callaghan’s is a building away from Main, so it is closer (just a little) to the action.  If you want bar food and a hundreds of beer choices (literally), the Box Bar is on Ann Arbor Trail, right across from park.   There are two Italian eateries on Main, just across from the park.  Fiamma is more of an upscale restaurant. http://www.fiammagrille.com/ and Compari’s, right next door, is slightly more casual atmosphere http://www.comparisdining.com/ Both are great choices if you’re not trying to save a few dollars.

Have fun at the Ice Spectacular.

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When we moved to Plymouth a few years back, we gave up cabe TV.  There is a lot of upside to that.  Our time is so much better spent now that we are not constantly planted in front of the tube.

The only real downside for me is that there are a lot of great college football games I can no longer watch at home.  I try to watch every MSU game that is on, but half of them are on one of the cable networks.

The only place I’ve watched games in town is the Box Bar.  I’ve gotten lunch and planted myself in a booth for three hours.  The staff there has been great in accommodating me. I’ve called ahead to see if they could show the game I wanted to watch and they’ve always said yes, making sure the game was on at least one of the two big screens, adjusting the volume, etc.  The food and drink menus are perfect for watching football.  The only “problem” (for lack of a better word) I’ve had there is that it’s sometimes hard to watch an entire game from the booth, especially since they are long and high-backed.

I know a lot of the bars in town have TVs and show games.  Anyone else had good game experiences at other Plymouth bars or restaurants?

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